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July 25, 2019

One year loc'd and loaded

I contemplated doing a big lead of things but let me be honest and say I'm still working my butt off so it didn't get done.  I'm finally planning a vacation to see the family and try to get everything else taken care of in the mean time in between time.  Today was my retwist appointment and it happened to be exactly 365 days after they were installed.  Not intentional, I swear.  It was just when I knew I could get to town and not be pressed for time.  This last year has been amazing in ways I cannot fully express but before I try here are some photos from today.

So where to begin?  I guess at the beginning would make the most sense.  Last year this time I was coming off of another serious health scare with my mom and being exhausted from taking care of her and still working full time as well as trying to launch the new graduate program at work.  I decided after I knew she would be stable and we could sort of resume normal life that I needed to commit to myself in a more profound way.  I was unhappy with my weight and my hair and a billion other things.  I reached out to friends and sorority sisters and said okay let's take any step and go with my hair.  The puff was not crushing the game and my wash and gos were mostly wash and nos.  I asked for a bunch of advice and asked who they liked and went in for a loc consultation.  A week later I was back and the shop and got my very short and looking at that first photo very thin appearing hair.  You couldn't tell me I wasn't cute that day but my mother and a few friends were concerned lol.  And really when it felt like it was time to wash my hair I was about to lose it cause I really couldn't do that at home and end up retwisting my WHOLE entire head.  

The second month was also a struggle cause the hair at the back of my head was on its own mission and the tiny locs that were the result of damage from the puff headbands were not hearing this was the new thing.  And I honestly wondered if I made a mistake with this whole thing.  Month three was puffy because we didn't use gel but month four things settled down and I started loving not thinking about my hair.  I got my eye surgery that month and the combination of not worrying about my hair or my glasses let me do a lot more internal work.  My voice which was already pretty direct became more so and I started asking for what I wanted and needed more in order to be a better me.  And I called people out on their shit more.  And I started getting a group of brown women together so we could support each other.  Like I legit made space to be and do #blackgirlmagic more.

The year wasn't banging out of control.  Work hit a snag or two but when it did I made sure to be upfront about what I was thinking and feeling and took care of myself outside of that space along with starting to look for new jobs.  I've done great things there but this loc journey taught me something else along the way.  Time is precious and so am I.  Being somewhere that doesn't feed my spirit just to collect a check is not the business.  The other thing I noticed was not doing anything, well not doing much, could be the best alternative some days.  I moisturize my hair.  I oil my scalp.  I sleep in a bonnet (not a 98 dollar one woosah) like always but wash day is once a month at the shop.  I tie my hair down a bit when I work out so that the sweat doesn't overwhelm my life but that's also to keep it out of my eyes lol.

I can't say I was ever someone who was hyperfocused on my looks or my hair.  I wanted it to look nice of course but that's probably why I was frustrated with it a lot.  Making my hair do something other than grow out of my head was a mess after puberty.  It was always super thick but then came the relaxer, a brief stint in a jheri curl after my well meaning father did not follow the very explicit instructions my mother gave him about taking care of my relaxer over the summer and my hair broke off, and then decades more of relaxers, hair dyes, braids, weave and whatever else I could think of.  I might have grown my hair out in braids longer but after another stint in Senegalese twists my line of demarcation (that is where the relaxed hair met the totally natural hair) said no mas and took the relaxed hair on out with the twists.  That led to my big chop, a natural growth spurt, a much needed trim and two years of what am I going to do with this hair.  I wanted permanent braids at some point but couldn't figure it out because exhaustion makes you stupid.  And then I remembered what I had planned to do with my hair a LONG time ago and the locs got their starring role in my life.  

Letting my hair be let me and my spirit rest.  I am sad I didn't do it sooner but so glad about what I have discovered this year and what is up ahead.  One last photo of two months of puff plus 12 months of loc updates.  

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